Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Candied fruit peel

Here's what we're doing with the peels from some of the citrus fruit we bought in bulk. This is a recipe I first used as a child myself. It's a double recipe to start with and we doubled it again this year. It's a very simple recipe. The results are delicious, though with a characteristic slight bitter bite of an aftertaste that leaves you reaching for another delicious sweet piece of peel to quell it.

Candied Fruit Peel

Peels from 8 oranges and 8 grapefruit, quartered
water to cover
4 cups of sugar
yet more sugar

a large heavy-bottomed non-reactive saucepan
candy thermometer

Place the peels in the saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer 30-45 minutes, until tender. Pour off water, reserving 4 cups of it. With a spoon, remove the soft inner white part of the rind. You don't have to be obsessive about this, though you'll find less bitterness in the final product the more of the white stuff you get off. Honestly, though, the stuff is darned yummy no matter what you do.

Slice the peel into strips. Set aside.

Place the 4 cups of sugar and 4 cups of reserved cooking water in the saucepan. Heat on medium until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to boil and boil on moderately high heat for about 45 minutes (though this is hugely variable depending on stoves, saucepans and elevation) until a candy thermometer indicates that you've reached the soft ball stage (238 F or 115 C). Add the peel and simmer for 15-30 minutes, until as much of the syrup as possible has been absorbed and the peel has a semi-translucent appearance. Drain in a colander. Then while still warm, toss, a few strips at a time, in a container of a cup or so of additional sugar.

Because we made such a big batch, we had a fair bit of syrup left over and couldn't bear to waste it, so we brought it up to the hard-crack stage and poured it on a cookie sheet, making the largest hard candy we'd ever seen just for fun. We sometimes make little bits of colourful hard candy to use as the windows for gingerbread houses, but I can't image the gingerbread house that would require a window this big!


  1. Yum! I saw a recipe for this in a book recently and wanted to try it. :) I have a bag of lemons but no sugar so it will have to wait until after this snow!

  2. Miranda,
    Do you think clementine peel would work?? We have tons of those and we just toss the peel, but I would love to try this with the kids.

  3. Brit, I think clementine peel would probably be delicious, though, recalling that we tried mixing in some lime peel one year, which was a similar thickiness, I think it probably wouldn't absorb nearly as much syrup. So you'd probably want to use lots and lots of peel, and/or reduce the syrup quantity.

  4. Wonderful that I landed here tonight! I was just thinking that I'd like to try candying the peels from the tangerines that are going off right now.


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